Trey Burke is Available, and the Pistons Should Make a Move for Him
The Detroit Pistons have yet another big offseason ahead of them. They started the offseason off by drafting Henry Ellenson out of Marquette, and Mike Gbinije from Syracuse. Now, they must prep for free agency. The free agency period begins on Friday, July 1st and Detroit has been rumored to be interested in a big name free agent. Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks is reportedly going to be pursued by the Detroit Pistons. As of now, Detroit does not have the money to sign Horford. They have about $15 million in cap space heading into free agency. The Pistons also have a glaring need of a backup point guard. How can they sign Al Horford and bring in a backup point guard? Detroit needs to get creative in the trade market.
The other day, The Vertical reported that Detroit is trying to move shooting guard Jodie Meeks.
The, this morning Marc Stein of ESPN reported that Utah Jazz point guard and former Michigan star Trey Burke has been made available in the trade market.
If Detroit is trying to move Jodie Meeks, they can move him while trading for a point guard. They also, if they want to pursue Al Horford, need to move Meeks for a point guard on a cheap deal. Trey Burke is an ideal target in this scenario.
Detroit Pistons receive: Trey Burke
Utah Jazz receive: Jodie Meeks
A return to the state in which he played college basketball may be exactly what Trey Burke needs to turn his career around. His experience in Utah has brough much criticism to Burke, but the criticism is not entirely fair. Burke started for the Jazz in his first two seasons in the NBA. Both seasons, the Jazz were one of the worse teams in the Western Conference. After Burke’s rookie season the Jazz started to send mixed messages his way. In the 2014 NBA Draft, the Jazz drafted Australian point guard Dante Exum. In Exum’s rookie season, he started 41 games. Then this season the Jazz signed Raul Neto who started 53 games while Shelvin Mack started 27 games. Burke did not start in a single game last season. Then before the draft last week, the Jazz traded for Indiana point guard George Hill. On draft night they selected both Marcus Paige and Tyronn Wallace. There will be no playing time for Trey Burke in Utah, as they are loaded with point guards.
This is where Detroit comes in. Detroit is in the market for a cheap point guard, and Utah could use depth at any position besides point guard. Jodie Meeks would supply Utah with another shooter. With current backup shooting guard Alec Burks struggling with injuries throughout his entire career, Meeks would be a good guard to have on the roster.
Burke would fill a large gap in Detroit. With Steve Blake becoming a free agent and Detroit trading Spencer Dinwiddie to Chicago, Detroit only has two point guards on the roster. One is starting point guard Reggie Jackson, and the other is Lorenzo Brown, who is on a non-guaranteed deal. Brown is not a lock to make the roster.
Burke would be an immediate upgrade over Blake at backup point guard. In Utah last season he averaged 10.6 points per game. He can score in a variety of ways. He can attack the basket, but is most efficient shooting the ball. While his three-point game leaves much to be desired, his mid-range game is where he is most dangerous. He shot 48% from 10-16 feet away from the basket, and 43 percent from 16 feet <3pt.
Burke is only 23 years old and can still develop areas of his game such as his three-point shooting. If Detroit could swap Jodie Meeks for Trey Burke without adding any other pieces, it would be a smart move. It gives Detroit more money to pursue a top-tier power forward in free agency.
Trading for Trey Burke is a low risk move. It saves Detroit money and gives Detroit a backup point guard if they are unable to sign one in free agency.
Featured image via: USA Today Sports